Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bhutto Returns To Pakistan: Will She Last?

Benazir Bhutto triumphantly returns to Pakistan, only to have bombs exploding near her parade route. She should count herself lucky. She’s getting more auspicious treatment, relatively speaking, then her rival, Nawaz Sharif, who was treated more like a leper than a former prime minister.

In addition, the corruption charges have been dismissed—for now—against Bhutto and her greedy, corrupt husband. She will compete in parliamentary election in a few months. And with the voting rigged in her favor, no doubt with Musharraf’s help (he’s getting quite good at this), she will become Prime Minister for the third time.

Once in office, she’ll promptly renege on her deal with Musharraf and try to dismiss him as President. In the process, she will alienate everyone from the MMA to the MQM. Karachi will become a war zone—yet again. It will all be a big mess. And to clean it all up, she’ll make some Faustian bargain with the army in order to stay in power. Instead there will be a coup. Martial law will be declared. The army, just sick of Bhutto’s many shenanigans, will reinstate corruption charges against her and either throw her in jail, or send her into exile for the third and, hopefully, last time.

Remember a leopard never, ever changes his (or her) spots. It’s an axiom no one seems to heed, especially in Pakistan.